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Author Topic: Alpha Technology Litecoin (Scrypt) ASIC Miner Order Batch 1 Now!  (Read 526266 times)
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November 19, 2014, 07:06:46 PM
Last edit: November 19, 2014, 07:20:11 PM by Test User
 #4261

That board is over-engineered.

No idea what the discoloration at the right side is. It's unlikely to be due to use, as there is nothing there to get hot. The CAD files show that there is nothing there on the back.

The amazing this is the power supply modules - 3 on each board. These are high-end DC-DC converters which cost $50 each in wholesale quantities. With 15 viper boards per miner, that's $2250 for the DC-DC converters alone!

As one might have expected with being subbed out to a general engineering contractor - they've got a miner which is a workhorse, and is very expensive. Sadly, that isn't really what most miners want.

Looking at the size of the chips - I'd estimate that manufacturing cost of them is going to be about $25 each. At 180 chips per miner that's another $5k or so for the chips. (assumptions 250 mm2, 28nm, 50% yield)

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November 19, 2014, 07:09:52 PM
 #4262


1.5mh * 12/board * 10 boards == 180mh/s

Burnt test board (probably from trying to OC to get to 250mh/s), paint chipping off a butt ugly cheap case, maybe mid-December maybe (NOT), LTC < $4 USD, LTC diff @ 44.8K, amateur product photos on 2nd hand dirty table somewhere in the Punjab, very encouraging. And as a bonus they are going to sell chips in bulk and all their new business partners (Viper customers) are going to get rich quick.


The best part about this is: at current difficulty levels and current pricing, the 250 MH unit will ROI in 422 days with FREE power and no pool fees. Those of us in California are used to paying around 15 cents a KW/h for electricity. Now, I'm not sure what the exact power consumption of the 250 MH Viper will be, but assuming 1,850 Watts, which is a number that I recall seeing in a few emails from Alpha, and a 4% pool fee (litecoinpool.org), this unit will ROI in 650 days.

Translation: Never.

This time last year, LTC difficulty was around 2,000. We have seen at least a 20-fold difficulty increase in a year's time. Now granted, I doubt that kind of exponential difficulty increase is sustainable, but in a year, suppose it goes up 5 times? These Viper units will be no more than $9,000 space heaters.
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November 19, 2014, 07:45:25 PM
 #4263

The amazing this is the power supply modules - 3 on each board. These are high-end DC-DC converters which cost $50 each in wholesale quantities. With 15 viper boards per miner, that's $2250 for the DC-DC converters alone!

FWIW you can find them for as low as $35-$45 online in bulk. Not to mention Chinese knockoffs cost far less. Not sure what converters KNC uses, but their in-house-cost for Jupiters was ~$1k. Excellent analysis though.

Overengineering is better than underengineering--it seems like in the crypto world it's one or the other.

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November 19, 2014, 07:59:29 PM
 #4264

I don't believe they're worried about receiving final payment or selling the gear off at all, which is part of what's leading my to my conclusion. Particularly considering it's all paid for already.

If their overhead costs are anything near KNC's costs (KNC's overhead per unit is roughly 25% for startup, 15% for batches 2+), and I'll presume AT's to be higher (20-30%) due to outsourcing and lower volume, the partial-deposit paid for everything in full for the first batch.

When that tanked, they took some more money from folks as well as a couple million from an 'angel investor'. This secondary backer was most likely promised the entire inventory of non-paid orders, as collateral. Keep in mind he essentially paid for their ASIC to be unlocked from tapeout prison, and this money likely went from the investor directly to the tapeout company--AT didn't need to touch the money and you won't see it on books.

This also relieves AT from any debt, and allows them footing for a batch 2 (if they were to pursue one). This method, which I've seen in the business world, provides them with full solvency, a way to make profit, and a way out, with $0 risk to themselves. Clues to their doing this with the investor are very clear in the T&C--for anyone asking for a refund, your order will be forfeit.

This way, whether they receive fully-paid invoices when the time comes, or if the gear ends up in the pits, they are out nothing, and their obligation with the investor has been fulfilled. They may not have banked on increasing costs for a legal fund, but everything else I believe they have covered from what I can infer and calculate.

Meanwhile, they could mine on the gear until it is claimed, and if their tax system is anything like ours, they can write these off as business losses just like we can in the US, for tax credit. These people are accountants, their family has been in business for like 40 years with numerous financial and venture operations, as well as multi-million dollar trusts.

Trust me, they're not dumb. This isn't their first rodeo, it's just their first digital rodeo.

Remember, accountants are paid to risk other people's money. Not theirs.

Again, I think you're giving them way too much credit. They are not that smart, otherwise this thing would have been handled much more slickly and they could have got clean away with it. Probably with their "customers" singing their praises even after they got scammed. They are kids playing at running a business, regardless of their father's accountancy experience. He bailed months ago, probably saw which way the wind was blowing. Remember these are the same accountants that forgot that you have to add VAT to your final product price. Yeah real geniuses.

BTW what you are saying the investor did is illegal. The money has to pass through Alpha's books, they would be stripping the company of assets by giving away any unsold vipers to an outside party and would be committing fraud. Its the same as Alpha selling all its stock to a new company for £1 then liquidating and starting again debt free and without "investors" or lawsuits. It's completely illegal.

So although some of you might think these guys are criminal masterminds, frankly I think they're a bunch of incompetent fools who thought money would come rolling in. All they had to do was outsource all the work to their buddies in India sit back and get rich. A cursory glance at the terrahash fiasco and Paypal's T&Cs would have told them not to use Paypal, common sense would have said bitcoin or bank transfer only, but their hubris was their undoing. They only took 30%, CCs and paypal because they were so confident this was a walk in the park. Now they're in complete meltdown. They did it wrong from the very start and it doesn't seem like they have gotten any smarter in the last few months.
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November 19, 2014, 08:37:02 PM
 #4265

BTW what you are saying the investor did is illegal. The money has to pass through Alpha's books, they would be stripping the company of assets by giving away any unsold vipers to an outside party and would be committing fraud. Its the same as Alpha selling all its stock to a new company for £1 then liquidating and starting again debt free and without "investors" or lawsuits. It's completely illegal.

Alpha, from day 0, never owned the chips or the design, hence had no physical or mythical asset.

They originally contracted a design team to create a design, which was then provided to the wafer entity. The design failed. They re-contracted, this time with the investor, who then took ownership of the product. This was all discovered back in July. Alpha again, never owned the end product. They're essentially outsourcing absolutely everything and are re-selling it to individuals once they purchase it, and by purchasing it this means paid in full by their customers.

If they fail to purchase it, the investor keeps the end product, whatever quantity is unsold. That's not illegal. They literally took a 100% hands-off approach, and explained this months ago.

My proposition is partially inferential, partially substantiated and one dash of calculated guesswork. But it's the only method (thus far proposed) which keeps them solvent and out of major legal issues. Anyone who wants more proof of my theory can obtain their public holdings report. It doesn't have any record of the investor's $2m/usd handoff (as of August), and that's because the investor is acting as the missing link which Alpha purchases from in the end.

If I'm wrong, that's fine, I'm merely proposing what I've seen done before with other startups and middle-man ventures, based on apparent evidence.

As to the elder, I believe he left because he has an ethical and moral conscience, especially considering his history with religious and educational relationships, business and otherwise. He has a solid history of work.

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November 19, 2014, 09:20:27 PM
 #4266

The best part about this is: at current difficulty levels and current pricing, the 250 MH unit will ROI in 422 days with FREE power and no pool fees. Those of us in California are used to paying around 15 cents a KW/h for electricity. Now, I'm not sure what the exact power consumption of the 250 MH Viper will be, but assuming 1,850 Watts, which is a number that I recall seeing in a few emails from Alpha, and a 4% pool fee (litecoinpool.org), this unit will ROI in 650 days.

Translation: Never.

This time last year, LTC difficulty was around 2,000. We have seen at least a 20-fold difficulty increase in a year's time. Now granted, I doubt that kind of exponential difficulty increase is sustainable, but in a year, suppose it goes up 5 times? These Viper units will be no more than $9,000 space heaters.

I'm in SoCal and I pay $0.31/kwh for residential power, in Tier 4...which you can hit just by running a refrigerator every day for a month. It's ludicrous. So yeah, the calculation on a 250 watt Viper looks abysmal. Considering their latest forum post, stating that they cannot even guarantee a December delivery, it's going to get a lot worse. Alpha-T apparently expects people to be excited about profit sharing on the bulk sale of their chips now...because that'll yield SO much more money than selling a batch two (which will never come), right?

It's a joke.
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November 20, 2014, 01:52:28 AM
 #4267

Looks like fightalpha.net took a dump. Hopefully Alpha-T hasn't managed to get their provider to shutter the site (and hopefully they had it backed up, lots of good information there).
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November 20, 2014, 02:12:23 AM
 #4268

Alpha, from day 0, never owned the chips or the design, hence had no physical or mythical asset.

They originally contracted a design team to create a design, which was then provided to the wafer entity. The design failed. They re-contracted, this time with the investor, who then took ownership of the product. This was all discovered back in July. Alpha again, never owned the end product. They're essentially outsourcing absolutely everything and are re-selling it to individuals once they purchase it, and by purchasing it this means paid in full by their customers.

If they fail to purchase it, the investor keeps the end product, whatever quantity is unsold. That's not illegal. They literally took a 100% hands-off approach, and explained this months ago.

My proposition is partially inferential, partially substantiated and one dash of calculated guesswork. But it's the only method (thus far proposed) which keeps them solvent and out of major legal issues. Anyone who wants more proof of my theory can obtain their public holdings report. It doesn't have any record of the investor's $2m/usd handoff (as of August), and that's because the investor is acting as the missing link which Alpha purchases from in the end.

If I'm wrong, that's fine, I'm merely proposing what I've seen done before with other startups and middle-man ventures, based on apparent evidence.

As to the elder, I believe he left because he has an ethical and moral conscience, especially considering his history with religious and educational relationships, business and otherwise. He has a solid history of work.

I'm not trying to start a fight in an empty room here but outsourcing does not equate to reselling. It's pretty normal in a development cycle and is not a problem. The problem arises when you have no clue what you are doing and cannot run the process smoothly. Cue Alpha.
 
It's obvious Dexcel are just a contractor and Alpha have to foot the full cost of design and development. If Alpha run out of money, Dexcel go on about their business and Alpha go bankrupt. We're not privy to the contract between Dexcel and Alpha but I'd bet the farm it didn't say we pay for everything up front and you keep all the assets, designs and IP. If that were the case, an investor would have no reason to deal with Alpha, they would just buy the IP from Dexcel, continue tapeout and leave Mubasher and Co high and dry.

I'm intrigued to find out where you're getting this figure of $2 million, or the idea that Alpha would give an investor any unsold vipers, or that any investor in their right mind would agree to such a haphazard proposal.  You can see from the company records that Alpha sold shares to an investor a minority stake, why would anyone buy into a company that was completely and utterly worthless? To my knowledge, they have not yet published financials, so we have no way of knowing what capital flowed in or out of this company.

Also if Alpha is just a shell with no assets why don't they just wrap it up and move on? It's not like they have a meticulously crafted brand they want to hold on to. Quite the opposite in fact and a truckload of lawsuits to boot. The evidence points to a botched job, not criminal masterminds. Your hypothesis leaves any investor with his arse hanging out in the wind and would be a legal minefield. Frankly I don't really care either way but I'm going with Occam's razor on this, the simplest answer and all that Smiley

Regardless, this is all just speculation. I just hope their customers get their money back and Alpha get what they deserve. But at this point though, neither is looking likely.
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November 20, 2014, 03:02:47 PM
 #4269

Also if Alpha is just a shell with no assets why don't they just wrap it up and move on? It's not like they have a meticulously crafted brand they want to hold on to. Quite the opposite in fact and a truckload of lawsuits to boot. The evidence points to a botched job, not criminal masterminds. Your hypothesis leaves any investor with his arse hanging out in the wind and would be a legal minefield. Frankly I don't really care either way but I'm going with Occam's razor on this, the simplest answer and all that Smiley

Regardless, this is all just speculation. I just hope their customers get their money back and Alpha get what they deserve. But at this point though, neither is looking likely.

I agree with much of what you said, especially the quoted bit here--am a fan of Occam myself. We all have our theories, and there's aspects to mine I can't answer. I've never once believed them to be a scam or criminal masterminds, but they're trying to gamble with other folks' money; they definitely bit off more than they could handle. They should know by now they'll never be able to sell again to any current individuals, they're likely holding out hope to shake down some new trees in the future.

I believe they know this but have hope in their product. If they do provide a functional and 'bullet-proof' product, particularly one which is stable across multipools (unlike the big players, KNC, etc), then they could have renewed interest from new customers.

BFL messed up a lot of people several times over before finally tanking. Sometimes people just don't learn.

Never meant this in an argumentative way, just tossing it out there. Nothing else going on in the thread for at least 30 more days when they provide another update Smiley

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November 20, 2014, 03:55:41 PM
 #4270

I raised the issue of them needing to clarify what they actually meant by their claim in the latest announcement that they were processing refunds.

They deleted my question.


WARNING!!! Check your forum URLs carefully and avoid links to phishing sites like 'thebitcointalk' 'bitcointalk.to' and 'BitcointaLLk'
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November 20, 2014, 04:23:53 PM
 #4271

I raised the issue of them needing to clarify what they actually meant by their claim in the latest announcement that they were processing refunds.

They deleted my question.


Ha Ha....rich.  I haven't gotten mine yet.  Any word AT?  Wink

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November 20, 2014, 04:33:37 PM
 #4272

The offered me few time ago a partial refund, I accepted, but since it's a black hole.  I'm trying to get refund from others channels, but still, it's so bad from AT to rape us that bad.


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November 20, 2014, 05:01:22 PM
 #4273

I don't have an order with them; I wonder what would happen if I ask for someone else's refund money? Haha.

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November 20, 2014, 05:21:15 PM
 #4274

Don´t use the Word "refund" in the Mail to pass there Spam Filter  Wink
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November 21, 2014, 03:08:04 AM
 #4275

This board has seen heavy use, no doubt about it. Everything to the right and left of the red lines shows signs of age and heavy usage. The circles are burnt spots from where the board has been overheated.

This board is used, maybe even dead? It takes a long time for a PCB to discolor if it's running in the correct temperature range. Who knows, but that isn't new.


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November 21, 2014, 03:17:22 AM
 #4276

And I suspect they showed us the best looking board they have. Which tells me they have a lot of used boards that are much worse shape than that one.
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November 21, 2014, 06:14:23 AM
 #4277

Lol, guys... those dark spots in that picture do not suggest the board is used... far from it.  If anything, that looks like someone's dirty finger marks.

Not to mention the guy who circled stuff in red above can't seem to tell the difference between PCB discoloring (which it clearly is not) and lighting variance/poor image quality.

Seriously, you give Alpha too much credit if you think they're mining with a whole ton of assembled vipers right now.
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November 21, 2014, 11:49:07 AM
 #4278

You guys(who disagree with the man pointing out that it is a used board) have obviously never used a soldering iron, or wiped off a board.  There are some idiots in the mining world. Someone on ebay was trying to sell a used miner board with a piece that was completely cut out of the board. WTF? The boards made today can have many layers for their traces. So they effectively ended the life of the board.(instead of just selling it burnt..which is (possibly)fixable by using a hot air rework wand and some new components.)
The case is all banged up. And this is how you guys were scammed in the first place with that weird electronics setup with old server boards.

This thing even at 180mh/s I dont think it will get above $1000 on eBay today...let alone what it will get when you receive it.

The soldering is obvious. Those ARE burn spots. And on top of that they still have two spots on that specific board filled with solder.

I have torn apart electronics my whole life, and have a ton of hours behind a soldering iron. So I am sure that is a used board. Used for what? I don't know..probably testing


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November 21, 2014, 01:36:43 PM
 #4279

Regarding the board, there's 2 spots for the pcie connectors. Only one of them is populated, the bottom-right. Top right may have been populated, but it's not likely--there's merely some solder on 1 of the traces, with 2 of them having just a smidge. The 3 areas with burn/fingerprint marks appear to be test points, or otherwise not primary power points.

If they're fingerprints, it's a very high coincidence for them to be sitting right over those pads. Instead it's possible that the reflow oven they used didn't put any solder there, and they used an iron at far too high of a temp to do so by hand. Or it's smudges, or it's something else, but those traces don't appear damaged so there'd be no point for the PCB to be burned there.

Further support for the high-temp hand-hack job is in the bottom-right pcie connector, look at the burnt flux. A clean, proper-temperature flow will not exhibit that.

I do think it's very likely this is a board they've used heavily over the past month--remember, they had at least one of these assembled at the beginning of October, and since then claim to have been trying to get everything running right. For analytical purposes, it should be noted that one board shouldn't be taken by default to represent their whole batch.

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November 21, 2014, 01:40:45 PM
 #4280

On the images, they removed the exif data from the PCB picture, but it remains intact for their case photos. Nov 11th is when the case photos were supposedly taken: http://regex.info/exif.cgi?dummy=on&imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Falpha-t.net%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F11%2FIMG_20141111_151328.jpg

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